My friend is doing the online program and just finished her first semester. It was VERY hard. The professor gave just about no guidance, and any time a question was asked, the students were told to, "Read the book." I mean, yeah I understand a lot of the time the info is there in the book, but sometimes you need to ask questions to get clarification. That's what the teacher is there for- to teach. So the professor was basically useless in that regard. Now my friend did better than me in all the pre-reqs, has a medical background, and in my opinion is smarter than I am for sure. She took Microbiology in 6 weeks and got an A. And here I am, passing nursing exams with B's and she barely passed. I know that people who do well in pre-reqs don't always do well in nursing, but trust me, she would have kicked my butt if she had gone the same class I did. So that tells me something. My friend is trying to transfer out of the online program, mostly because the time that she's been required to be at the campus taking tests, etc., she said she might as well have taken the courses face-to-face. Now granted, it isn't the same amount of time as going face-to-face, but it was more than she thought she'd be there. Honestly, after the first semester, aside from clinicals (which you still have to make time for in the online program), you are in lecture for 3 hrs on Monday and 3 hours on Friday and thats it.
Also, her class started with about 30 and after the first course, only about 10 were left. I'm not sure how many made if after the second course, but there were several people who were more than likely going to fail.
I know people have to work an all, but I would strongly advise anyone to NOT work the first the semester, or work as little as humanly possible.